Entering Windows 8.1 Pro Product Key using HMD

Windows 8 on ThinkPads
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chariots
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Entering Windows 8.1 Pro Product Key using HMD

#1 Post by chariots » Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:06 am

I recently replaced the system board from a 2014 X1 Carbon due to overheating issues. The new board works great, and I used the hardware maintenance disk 1.83 to enter the system unit and system board serial numbers. I am not sure how to re-enter the Windows 8.1 Pro product key. There are no options displayed in the HMD program regarding the digital product key and I am unable to find any instructions explaining how to do this. The old system board showed under Preinstalled OS License: SDK0E50510 Pro .. and the new board simply says No DPK. Is anyone here familiar with the process for re-entering the product key? I have it extracted from the OS. Thank you.

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Re: Entering Windows 8.1 Pro Product Key using HMD

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Dec 25, 2014 8:09 am

A 2014 X1 Carbon should still be under warranty, and Lenovo should have done the motherboard-replacement, not you.
The HMD is limited to old-style BIOS entries, and is not 'affilliated' with UEFI BIOS.
See if this helps: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Windows-8- ... -p/1583322
If not, call Microsoft, they'll tell you how to re-activate.
Worst case: you may have to buy another license.
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Re: Entering Windows 8.1 Pro Product Key using HMD

#3 Post by chariots » Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:39 am

Yes it is still under warranty. I was trying to minimize downtime and the support rep agreed to send me the system board and keyboard to replace myself. Lenovo says I should send the motherboard back and then put in a new service call for them to have a tech replace it for me. At this point I've already extracted the Win 8.1 product key from the OS and used the HMD to put in the system/unit serial numbers so all I am missing is having the key stored in the bios. I'm curious how they do it if they don't use the HMD. I think the support rep misunderstood me on the phone when I told him I used to fix laptops for a living or he probably wouldn't have sent me the parts. Thanks for the reply! Merry Christmas.

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Re: Entering Windows 8.1 Pro Product Key using HMD

#4 Post by chariots » Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:21 am

I found this post describing the manufacturing process regarding Windows 8 preinstalled licenses:

http://forums.mydigitallife.info/thread ... -and-OA3-0

..and it seems the embedded product key is associated with a hardware hash at the time of manufacture which is then transmitted to Microsoft. I haven't tried a clean install on this laptop to see if the product key I extracted will activate but my guess is it won't because the associated hash will be different from the one Microsoft has in their database.

I am going to call Lenovo and have them replace the system board for me so I can get my embedded 8.1 license back.

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Re: Entering Windows 8.1 Pro Product Key using HMD

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:42 am

Make sure you mention (in writing) to Lenovo to (re)place TYPE, S/N and W8-key/ref when you send it in!
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Re: Entering Windows 8.1 Pro Product Key using HMD

#6 Post by chariots » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:11 pm

Ok I called Lenovo and they directed me to this pdf: http://download.lenovo.com/parts/ThinkP ... 140204.pdf which is a list for all of the parts associated with the Gen2 X1 Carbon.

Under 'Planars' there is a list of different FRUs for various configurations of ram, processors and OS types.

When the first support rep initially sent me the replacement system board, he asked me the specs of my machine and I told him 8gb and i7, but not what OS type it was. He sent me a board designated for Windows 7, hence the missing Preinstalled OS License in the Bios.

Lenovo has agreed to send me another replacement system board, this time with the correct FRU#. The board will obviously arrive without the Model type or System/Unit Serial numbers, but it will have the Windows 8 product key.

I hope this thread sheds some light on the process. With Windows 10 scheduled for a 2015 release.. I think more of us will be dealing with these Pre-Installed OS License issues, though most users should just send their computers to Lenovo and let them handle it.

I've got to give a huge thanks to Lenovo tech support in Atlanta. Everyone I talked to there provided superb support. I've talked to 100s of reps from Dell and HP over the years and it's usually hit or miss. This call-center in Atlanta are on top of their game and I won't be straying from ThinkPads because of it.

This website thinkpads.com is great too. Have a good year ThinkPad Community!

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Re: Entering Windows 8.1 Pro Product Key using HMD

#7 Post by Norway Pad » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:54 pm

So this means that there is no COA? Is that because of the type of machine/unit this is, or has something with the handling of activation keys changed from Win8 and on?

I have noticed that tablets don't have any COA, but I assumed that units where you can potentially swap the HDD and reinstall the OS from some source would have COA still?
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Re: Entering Windows 8.1 Pro Product Key using HMD

#8 Post by chariots » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:33 pm

That's correct.. no COA's for new computers that come with Windows 8 pre-installed. The product key is stored in the bios and automatically supplied to the OS when you install it. Since the product key is tied to the hardware (presumably the motherboard) swapping the hard drive for a new one and reinstalling will not require any intervention on your part.

If you don't have recovery media but your computer has the Windows 8 keys stored in the bios, you can download the install files directly from Microsoft: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/wind ... resh-media

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Re: Entering Windows 8.1 Pro Product Key using HMD

#9 Post by crashnburn » Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:46 am

chariots wrote:That's correct.. no COA's for new computers that come with Windows 8 pre-installed. The product key is stored in the bios and automatically supplied to the OS when you install it. Since the product key is tied to the hardware (presumably the motherboard) swapping the hard drive for a new one and reinstalling will not require any intervention on your part.

If you don't have recovery media but your computer has the Windows 8 keys stored in the bios, you can download the install files directly from Microsoft: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/wind ... resh-media
Interesting changes /:) in Win 8 land.
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